Monday, January 7, 2013

Start & Stick to Your New Habits

This year, don't let your New Year's resolution become last year's failure. There are ways you can easily get healthy and even have fun doing it (if it's not fun, it can at least not be the worst thing in the world). 

Here are four ways I think 2013 can be a year of healthy living for you and me both. 
CC Photo by CherryPoint


1. Make Exercise Fun


Three things make working out fun for me: what I'm doing, whom I'm with and what I'm wearing.

One of the best kept secrets to staying motivated with fitness is to love the way you look before you change your body. You have to be confident enough to sweat in public if you want to keep finding yourself at the gym. And let me just say that nobody feels good about themselves in clothes that don't fit or aren't flattering. So go find yourself a couple new workout outfits! 

Ladies, I'm giving you an excuse to go shopping. As long as your man knows you're planning on improving your body, I'm sure he won't mind you spending some money on some new clothes. When I splurge on a new workout outfit for myself, it makes me want to go to the gym. It's motivating. It really is!

Next, start the year out by trying new things. Take a new class at your gym, introduce yourself to others there and get determined to make them your friends. The people you exercise with will keep you accountable.

If you've been a slave to the elliptical, spice it up by working the stair climber, treadmill or bike. Grab a jump rope, hit the weights or step outside. Brenda Leigh Turner, from LeanSecrets.com, has a channel on YouTube that is a great resource for finding new workouts. Other YouTube inspirations for new exercises include Sarah Fit, Diet Health, and Brad Gouthro


2. Set Smaller Goals


Think of your goals this year like a line graph that ramps up over time. 


If you start off by setting smaller, reasonable goals, you are more likely to reach them quicker. After you've reached a couple of your smaller goals, you will feel more confident. You will feel like this stuff is actually working! You'll get the itch and want to come back for more.

Losing 20 pounds by the end of the month? Not likely. Losing five pounds by February? You can do it!


3. Track Your Food


For the most of us, the biggest challenge we have for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is in the kitchen. 


If you've never tried journaling your food, you might consider it. Keeping a food diary, where you right down anything and everything that enters your stomach will definitely open your eyes to how much (or how little) you're eating. 

Some may say this is a bit obsessive, but I think it's a good tool to use in moderation, especially for those who are new to healthy eating. I like to do this for 3-5 days every 2-3 months. Once you're more aware of what you're eating and how you want to eat, journaling at this frequency is more for evaluation and moderation. It's motivating to see if you've slipped up in your diet or not.

4. Go Slow


New habits form a lifestyle, and if you're trying to improve your life (which we all are, aren't we?), then you need to think of your decision to be healthier as a life decision — not just a New Year's resolution that will fizz out in a few weeks. 

When you make mistakes, like skipping a workout or eating something unhealthy, don't let it be a deterrent to your lifestyle. Let it motivate you to make healthier decisions from that point on. Don't expect yourself to fail, but realize that you will make mistakes. At times, you will over-eat, and you will miss a workout. You will lay on the couch. You will sneak another bite of spinach dip. But, in the end, it will be okay.

Just like the rest of the decisions we make in our life, one bad choice doesn't make you a failure. Thank God for grace and new beginnings. Yes, sometimes those new beginnings are needed every day, but that's okay. You're human. Don't give up on yourself.

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